A system that allows users to share files with one another in a truly distributed manner. Unlike the sharing software created by Napster, Gnutella does not rely on a central server (instead, it relies on distributed indexes), making it nearly impossible to shut down. Instead of logging into a central server, you must connect with at least one other Gnutella user. Once connected to that user, you can access all the machines he or she is connected to (like a daisy chain). Several open source Gnutella clones are in development, such as Gnapster. Gnutella allows users to download any file type, whereas Napster is limited to MP3 music files. It was unleashed through AOL's Nullsoft music software division.
NetLingo Classification: Net Software
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